In Spain, where COVID-19has claimed more than 30,400 lives, authorities in the Madrid region acknowledged that they had been overwhelmed by the galloping resurgence of the pandemic.”You have to do what you need to, in order forcontroling the situation in Madrid,” said the Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa.In recent weeks, the capital region, of 6.6 million inhabitants, concentrates a third of the new cases and new deaths registered in Spain.
In the coming hours, the president of the region, Isabel DíazAyuso, will announce new measures that will probably affect especially the areas of the capital and more modest neighboring cities, where more than 1,000 new cases were counted for every 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks. An incidence much higher than the national average (285), which is already one of the highest in Europe.
The objective is “to restrict mobility and also reduce activity in areas (…) where there is a greater transmission of the virus,” said Antonio Ruiz Escudero, regional head of Health.
A perspective that rekindled the specter of a reconfinement in a city that was already put to the test by the severe measures imposed on the Spanish at the height of the pandemic.
“I don’t see it well [a new confinement] because of the shops, the small businesses, the little bars that make a living from that, the schools … people are already very overwhelmed to be at home, the confinement has been very hard this last spring”, Maribel Quesada, a 55-year-old retiree living in Puente de Vallecas, one of the most affected districts of Madrid, said.
New confinement in England?
In London, the Boris Johnson government warned on Friday that it could reimpose a lockdown across England to counter the Coronavirus pandemic.”We want to avoid a national lockdown but we are prepared to do so if necessary,” Health Minister Matt Hancock declared.
“We are prepared to do what is necessary both to protect lives and to protect the economy,” he said while warning that new restrictions will be added to those already imposed as of this Friday in parts of northeast England. For now, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced that the spectacular fireworks with which the city of London traditionally celebrates the New Year will not take place on December 31st due to the pandemic.
The United Kingdom is the country in Europe hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 41,700 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. “We have sadly seen that the number of people hospitalized with Coronavirus is doubling every eight days, so we have to take action,” Hancock stressed.
This past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern about the “alarming” rate of transmission of the Coronavirus in Europe. “The September figures should serve as an alarm for all of us” in Europe, where the number of cases is higher than those registered in March and April, said the director for the WHO in the region, Hans Kluge.
Worrying is the situation of the more than 12,000 refugees on the island of Lesbos, in Greece, who after being left in the open by the fire that devastated the gigantic Moria camp, in which they lived, are settling in a new camp, in the that 157 positives for Coronavirus have already been registered.
Second general confinement in Israel
From this past Friday also and for at least three weeks, the Israeli population must respect a new general confinement, a measure that led to a protest in the streets of Tel Aviv of about 400 people on Thursday night, dissatisfied with the decision announced last week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“When Netanyahu announced the reconfinement, I thought about killing myself!” Declared Yael, a protester. “The economy falls, people lose their jobs, they are depressed. And for what? Nothing at all,” he said.
In the country, of 9 million inhabitants, 1,163 deaths from Coronavirus have been confirmed. It is also the country with the highest rate of infections in the last two weeks. Between Thursday night and Friday, the Health Minister registered 5,238 new cases, something never seen before.
With more than 200,000 deaths, the United States is the country most affected by the pandemic, ahead of Brazil (134,935 deaths) and India (84,372 deaths). These three countries also account for half of the patients counted in the world.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the Coronavirus has already caused more than 318,000 deaths and 8.5 million infections.In Peru, where the 750,000 cases of Coronavirus were exceeded, the night and Sunday curfew will be relaxed, thanks to an improvement in the figures, announced President Martín Vizcarra.